Applications open for 2022 Investigative Summer STEM Program

Mar 31, 2022
ISSP campers experiment in the labs at Newman University

Newman University is now accepting applications for the summer 2022 Investigative Summer STEM Program (ISSP).

ISSP camp is an immersive, weeklong experience that allows high schoolers to develop a better understanding of work in STEM-related fields through science, technology, engineering and math. For five days, students can perform hands-on research with Newman faculty, experience living on campus in the residence halls and even earn college credit. 

Students do an experiment with a professor during the 2021 Newman University ISSP camp.

The 2022 ISSP overnight program allows campers to fully immerse themselves in campus life with a nightly stay in the residence halls. This program starts June 19 and concludes June 24. Cost, which includes two college credit hours, lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days, is $385 before May 1, 2022, or $420 on or after May 1.

The 2022 ISSP day program is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 20 to 24. Cost, which includes two college credit hours, all lunches and dinners for five days, is $260 before May 1, 2022, or $295 on or after May 1.

Both 2022 ISSP program application deadlines are June 5, 2022.

What to expect

Each participant will select one interdisciplinary research topic from biology or chemistry. Working within a small group, the student will then conduct a literature search on the selected topics, set up laboratory/field experiments, collect data, analyze the results, draw conclusions from the findings and finally present the research to faculty and students.

Supervision and project background information is provided by the program faculty in a one-to-one and small group discussion format rather than traditional lectures. Guest speakers will be scheduled during the program to provide participants with real-life applications of science and math.

During ISSP students will:

  • Earn two hours of college credit with a pass/fail grade upon satisfactory completion of the program
  • Spend five days performing hands-on research in small groups led by highly qualified NU faculty
  • Expand team-building and communication skills
  • Engage with guest speakers from a variety of STEM-related fields to discuss the career opportunities possible with a STEM education
  • Form friendships with high school students that share similar interests
  • Have the option to stay on NU’s campus in the residence halls

Student testimony

Sai Ananya Guntaka
Sai Ananya Guntaka

Sai Ananya Guntaka, a high school senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, applied for the 2021 ISSP camp after a distant relative mentioned the opportunity to her mom over a phone call. 

“We decided to look into it, and it was a lot of fun,” Guntaka said. “It was one of my first times staying away from home for a week, and I really liked the environment. Everyone was really friendly, and the lab work we did was very interesting because it’s a lot different from what we do in school.” 

Who can apply

Current high school sophomores, juniors or seniors with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and who have completed at least one high school science course can apply for ISSP. Consideration may be given to freshmen.

A limited number of ISSP scholarships are available. Click here to learn more about scholarships.

All ISSP application materials must be received no later than June 5, 2022.

Project descriptions

Each year, ISSP students split into small groups and perform research projects facilitated by Newman professors.

This year’s project topics are “Investigations into Regenerative Abilities,” “Expression of the Jellyfish Gene: Green Fluorescent Protein in Bacteria,” “Dung Beetles of Kansas” and “Forensic Identification.” 

Investigations into Regenerative Abilities (Jenna Persons) 

What do you get when you slice a Hydra into two pieces? Two Hydra! Many organisms share amazing regenerative abilities- Hydra can regenerate their whole body, zebrafish can regenerate their hearts, and salamanders can grow back a whole limb. For humans, growing back limbs and organs remains the stuff of science fiction. As ISSP research students, you will investigate a cellular pathway that helps organisms regenerate after injury and the implications for regenerative medicine.

Expression of the jellyfish gene Green Fluorescent Protein in bacteria (Michael Bradley)

In this project students will perform cell culture of an intestinal bacterium (E. coli) in order to use these organisms in gene transformation experiments.  Specifically, a gene originally isolated from a jellyfish which is able to glow in the dark will be inserted, by means of a ring of bacterial DNA used as a vector (a plasmid) into E. coli, a completely different species.  Evaluation of results will be accomplished by means of examination of bacterial colonies which emit fluorescence when illuminated with ultraviolet light.

“Dung Beetles of Kansas!” (Morgan Trible)

Have you ever wondered what happens to POOP in the environment? Get ready to learn about the native dung beetles of Kansas! These coprophagous (poop-eating) insects perform important roles in the environment. They are so important that some scientists refer to dung beetles as ‘ecosystem engineers’! We will explore and perform experiments in different dung beetle habitats. Then, we will compare which dung beetles are attracted to the poop of different species of animals! Do you think more dung beetles will be attracted to monkey poop, or pig poop? Will dung beetles be attracted to a decomposing mammal or fruit? What roles do dung beetles play in our environment? Find out in this exciting program!

Forensic Identification (Alan Oberley)

In this project you will put your forensic science skills to the test as you explore the myriad of ways to identify unknown white powders as well as explore different forensic science techniques. 


For more information, please contact NSEP director and associate professor of chemistry, Ryan Huschka by email at [email protected] or by phone at (316) 942-4291 ext. 2428.


FacebookTwitterEmailShare